Definition of tumor

A tumor is a cellular mass capable of multiplying and which has acquired a permanent, transmissible and inheritable mutation.
It is possible to cytologically classify tumors based on their origin: Epithelial, Mesenchymal, and Roundcellular. In the field of reading cytological examinations, the criteria of malignity of cells gains particular importance, above all those of Mesenchymal and Epithelial origin.

Tumors in the Neapolitan Mastiff

Tumors in the Neapolitan mastiff are the same as those found in all giant breeds. In clinical practice, those that are most frequently diagnosed are: Lipomas, Adenomas, of the sebaceous glands (including malign variants), osteosarcomas, and tumors of the reproductive apparatus.

Tumors of the Apocrine Glands

Adenomas and adenocarcinomas of the apocryphal sweat glands may arise from an apocryphal gland or from the conduct.
They may appear as individual, alopecic, circumscribed dermal or subcutaneous nodules that may have a blue tint. Sizes range from 0.4 to 4 cm in diameter. The most common places where they appear are in the hair, on the neck, body and extremities. The outlook is normally good, with surgery continuing to be the corresponding treatment.


These are benign neoplasms of the subcutaneous fat cells that frequently appear in middle-aged or old dogs. They appear as an individual or multiple moving subcutaneous mass, well circumscribed in the shape of a dome or poly-lobed, from soft to hard, varying in size from 1 to 30 cm in diameter. Lipomas commonly appear in the thorax, abdomen, and extremities. The infiltrative malign form that affects the muscles, tendons and underlying fascia is rare. In the case of small, well-delimited tumors, observation without treatment is reasonable.

Surgical removal is the treatment of choice for aesthetically unacceptable or rapidly growing tumors. Infiltrative lipomas should also be treated precociously, with an aggressive surgery that may be followed by radiotherapy or chemotherapy, if the separation is incomplete.                                                          

Osteosarcoma (Bone)

This is a malign mesenchymal tumor characterized by the production of osteoid extracellular origin or of immature bone from neoplastic cells.
With age, a bimodal distribution is observed with a first peak in dogs aged 18 to 24 months and a second, much more frequent peak, in adult subject aged 5 to 7 years.
Male dogs appear to be more predisposed than bitches. Large and giant breeds are mostly predisposed to appendicular osteosarcoma rather than that of the cranium bones.
After etiological agents, high-dose fractioned radiation is taken into account as treatment, as well as infestation of “spirocerca lupi”, traumas, and implants, including hip replacements, and diet.

Sarcomas associated with bones and metal implants have a common pathology: chronic irritation and remodeling of the bone that may cause a malign cell transformation.

The importance of genetic factors in the ethiopathogeny of the bone has been recently demonstrated (High-penetration recessive autosomal inheritance).
Osteosarcomas affect the appendicular and axial skeleton.
The appendicular skeleton (70/75%), with preference in the anterior extremities compared to the posterior ones. Radius (23/35%), Proximal humerus (19/25%), Tibia (7/15%), distal femur (8/19%)
Axial skeleton (25%): cranium (12%), jaw (27%) jaw bone (22%), ribs (10%), pelvis (5%), nasal bone (9%), vertebras (15%)
Extra-skeletal zones: gastrointestinal treatment (duodenum, esophagus, tongue), subcutaneous, teat muscles, spleen, liver, thyroids, lungs, suprarenal, vesicle, testicles, vagina, sinovial membrane, spine marrow.
The bone appears deceptively, but with a rapid evolution, causing the dog to suffer intense pain (first sign), the patient is generally taken for a medical examination due to a limp with a variable duration, intermittent, persistent or serious (in the end the extremity has no support at all). This pain is associated with an inflammation of the part where the pain appears, without inflammatory signs.
According to the location of the bone, the symptoms can notably vary: Jaw bone makes it difficult to open the mouth; Orbital bone is associated with exophthalmia (protuberance of the ocular globe against the socket); Nasal cavity bone, causes facial deformity and a running nose; Vertebral bone, causes hyperesthesia with or without neurological symptoms ending in paresis; Ribs, evidenced as a palpable mass associated with intrathoracic extension and/or pleural effusion.

The radiographic examination of the painful extremity is indispensable when the bone is painful and the bone tissue is inflamed. The radiography (x-ray) allows a diagnosis of suspicions that should be confirmed with a cytological/histological examination. 
A three-dimensional radiography of the thorax is very important in order to verify the presence of pulmonary metastasis, typically nodular with a similar radius of intensity to that of the bone tissue.
CATs and magnetic resonance are used to precisely define the limits of the tumor, the integrity of the cortical, infiltration in the bone marrow, the relation with the soft tissue and the neurovascular structure, and the presence of pulmonary metastatic nodules.
The CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography), also with contrast material or dye, is indispensable for taking cytological samples and biopsies (for the histological examination) and for the planning of the surgery (if possible).
Hematologically, a hemochomocyomeric exam is considered as well as a complete biochemical examination, with particular emphasis on alkaline phosphatosis (LP) that normally appears to be augmented as a secondary effect of the increase in bone isoenzymes (BALP).
Cardiological exams (ECGs – electrocardiograms) are also of great importance and an echocardiograph, in order to assess the general state of the patient and the possibility of chemotherapy treatment.
Regarding the histological exam linked to cellular pleomorphism, quantity of extracellular origin, percentage of necrosis, the therapeutic approach can only be programmed once the situation of the patient has been defined.

Multimodal Approach:

Surgery ------------------amputation + chemotherapy

Radiotherapy:    Curative


The history of illnesses reflects the very history of the changes that occur in the reality that surrounds them. Illnesses are almost always a result of interactions following the defense capacity of the organism (immune system) and of the aggression exercised by substances, bacteria or other conditions present in the environment.

In pre-industrial times, the state of health was principally threatened by the contamination of microbes and unsuitable eating conditions, two factors that for a long time have resulted in the prevalence of pathologies of an infectious and metabolic origin. Environmental pollution due to the emission of chemical substances and disorders of certain physical parameters due to human activity, has suddenly come to everyone’s attention above all in the last 50 years, however alarms due to pollution “of nature” continue to be present, although in a more limited manner.

Based on numerous epidemiological investigations, it is now possible to define, with a certainty, a correlation between the increase in the incidence of tumors and environmental pollution. Following the reasoning of these conclusions, two in particular stand out:
The dramatic increase (after a period of stagnation) of neoplasms in population enveloped in social-economic change, which alters their habits and, above all, their environment.

The substantial difference between the rate of tumors in cities (due to the high level of industrialization) and the countryside, and between industrialized countries and developing countries, is concrete proof of this. It is common for many other factors (diet, etc) contribute to the possibility of suffering from cancer in populations that live in areas considered to be “high-risk”.

It is difficult to follow the effect of one separately from the other.
Consequently, it can be stated that diverse substances (toxic or other) affect health, being leveraged and amplifying their effect in an extremely harmful synergy. When considering pollution, it is important to evaluate the influence of numerous ecological variables on the environment; from this, the need to turn to alternative forms of study, such as bio-indicators.

This may be a true and appropriate indicator when given its sensitivity to a pollutant data, manifesting changes such as consenting to a determination of contaminant agents, which may be accruable when they only accumulate contaminant substances present in the environment, in concentrations so low that doses can be detected in the tissue.

Such correlation is still subject to many general studies, due to the extreme importance of the argument, more specifically, as certain metals play an incredibly important role in our organism, above all on a cellular level.

With regards to the effects of atmospheric pollution on human health, these have been differentiated according to the time of exposure to the pollutant agents, separating them into “short-term” or “long-term” or chronic effects.
The generated manifestations are a worsening of respiratory symptoms that may lead to death due to respiratory insufficiency. The long-term effects, in light of various epidemiological studies, are:

   Chronic respiratory diseases (emphysema, bronchitis, bronchial asthma)

   Cardiovascular diseases

   Malign neoplasms (Tumors of the respiratory apparatus)

   Degeneration of the nervous system.

Consequently, the effects of atmospheric pollution on health can also be caused indirectly, for example, the thinning of the ozone layer caused by certain pollutants. This leads to less absorption of the ultraviolet rays produced by the sun and consequently a risk of skin tumors.

It is necessary to take into account that acute manifestations are linked to the presence of high concentrations of contaminant substances and particular atmospheric situations.
The problem of prolonged exposure to low concentrations of contaminants, typical of inhabitants of urban zones, is that it has negative long-term effects on health.

The largest categories of conventional pollutants or macro pollutants are differentiated into: sulfur oxide (principally sulfur dioxide); nitrogen oxide (nitrogen dioxide or monoxide), carbon monoxide, non-metal volatile organic compounds (principally hydrocarbons), solid particles and liquid ozone (typical example of secondary pollution), other alkaline acids and ammonium compounds.

Other micro-pollutant substances are derived from human activity in much more modest quantities compared to conventional pollutants, but with worse toxicological characteristics. These are principally represented by oil byproducts, gasoline, polycyclic hydrocarbons, aromatics (IPA), and fine dust (PM 10).

The determination of the elements, already low content, as a trace in the tissue of the organs of biological systems cannot be measured just by the state of health of a subject, but may chronologically reveal pathological states in temporary exposure to contaminated environments.  

Cancer and diet: rules of nutrients contained in meat.

Cancer is the most common disease in rich societies after cardiovascular diseases: in Italy it represents 25% of deaths, half of which are caused by breast, colon, prostate and lung tumors.

According to the National Cancer Institute (USA), 80% of all forms of tumors are due to well-identified factors and, as such, are potentially preventable. In more diffused tumors, a close relationship with diet has been proven.

American guides for the prevention of tumors, published by the Cancer Research Foundation of the American Cancer Research Institute in 1997, indicate that adherence to a diet rich in fiber and low in fat, which includes different types of fruits, vegetables, whole cereals and legumes is the best strategy for the prevention of Cancer. With regards to meat, it provides the following guidelines:

Meat: Limit consumption of red meats. The consumption of fish and poultry, among other meats, is preferable.     

Total fats and oils: Limit the consumption of fatty foods, particularly those of animal origin (derived from meat), milk and eggs (N of R).

Salt: Limit the consumption of salty foods and the use of salt for cooking and table salt (canned animal foods contain large amounts of salt).


Meat may contain mutagenic substances that may contaminate foods during all the stages of the production process: principally pesticides, additives or materials used for preparation. Meats cooked with domestic methods at high temperatures (meat, poultry or fish) may produce genotoxic substances called Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs); these substances are responsible for the formation of DNA-adducts, which are states associated with a high risk of colonic, pancreatic, breast, prostate and urinary tract cancers.

Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) or (rBGH) is the genetically modified copy of somatotropin (growth hormone) produced naturally by animal organisms.
As has been proven until now, the supply of rBST with the aim of increasing milk production brings with it a significant increase in the IGF-1 of the milk from treated animals compared to those that are not treated.

The rBST is supplied parentally by means of subcutaneous implants with a retardation vehicle (in the back region) or also intramuscularly.

The response of the mammary tissue to rBST (missing mammary cell GH receptors) is a consequence of the intervention of somatomedine C or IGF-1 (Insulin growth factor).

In particular, men with high blood levels of IGF-1 are four times more likely to suffer from prostate cancer compared to those with lower levels.

The rBST is supplied parentally by means of subcutaneous implants with a retardation vehicle (in the back region) or also intramuscularly, following the same metabolism as growth hormones.

Melamine in animal feed

Melamine is produced in bulk as a high-volume chemical substance. It may be present in certain foods after its use in materials in contact with the food, compressed items made from plastics, melamine-formaldehyde coatings of boxes, cardboards and adhesives. Melamine can also be found in food as a metabolite and product of the degradation of cyromazine, which is used as a phytosanitary product or as a veterinary drug. According to the purification process, melamine may contain different levels of structurally similar substances, cyanuric acid, ammeline and ammelide. Residues of cyanuric acid can also be found in food as the consequence of the use of dichloroisocyanurate as a source of active chlorine in disinfecting agents. Melamine and cyanuric acid may also be present as impurities in the feed based on urea for ruminants.

Illegal adulterations of foodstuff and feed with melamine have caused illness or death of newborn human babies and domesticated animals (dogs and cats), principally due to the renal damage caused by kidney stone crystals in the urinary tracts.

Poultry (chickens and hens) are the most exposed to melamine (179 and 151 ug/kg of body weight per day and 714 and 605 ug/kg of body weight per day, respectively, if the feed contains 2.5 or 10 mg of melamine per kilogram, respectively).
Mercury, Lead and Arsenic.

In recent years, several cases of mass mercury poisoning in food have occurred, which have caused hundreds of deaths and which have demonstrated the potential danger represented by this contaminant. It is worth remembering the case of Minamata, a region of Japan in which, in the 1950’s, the population was intoxicated by methylmercury.

The greatest exposure to HG, 70 to 90% of the total, is represented by the consumption of fish products, particularly in those fished in polluted marine zones.

The presence of lead in ecosystems varies according to the considered geographical area; its diffusion is lesser in rural zones compared to urban areas and conditioned to the presence of temporary sources of emissions, the composition of the soil and the presence of atmospheric pollution.

Absorbed principally by breathing and nutrition, lead is not metabolized, whilst almost 20% is distributed in tissue.

Once in circulation, it is distributed to all tissues and its ability to imitate calcium and above all in case of calcium acceptance insufficiency, it accumulates in the bone, forming a stable component. The stable presence of lead in bones makes the recovery of the levels of lead in the blood very slow, even after an elimination of the toxic agent.

Everyone is sensitive to the harmful action of lead, the intrauterine and postnatal growth phases being the most sensitive.

Arsenic is a semimetal that appears in three different allotropic forms: yellow, black and gray. Its compounds are used as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
It is also used in certain alloys. From a chemical viewpoint, arsenic is very similar to its equivalent, phosphorous, to the extent that it can partially substitute it in some biochemical reactions, and therein lays its toxic effect.

The wood used in large quantities during the first half of the 20th Century for the structures and external cladding of buildings with the danger of putrefaction or insect attacks are now in circulation and used in many countries. This type of wood treatment has been prohibited in most of the nations followed in studies that have demonstrated the slow release of arsenic into the surroundings. The most serious risk is the combustion of CCA wood, which concentrates arsenic compounds in the ashes.

2.- Macronutrients     

Some macronutrients contained in meat are known cancer risk factors.

2.1 Animal Fats. One of the most studied associations in epidemiology is the relationship between fat in the diet and cancer, particularly fats of animal origin, derived from meat and dairy products, and breast cancer in the post-menopausal period.
Associations with breast cancer in the pre-menopausal period, as well as colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial and pancreatic cancer have also been described.
Studies of population migration flows and animal data support carcinogenic effects of fat in diets.

2.2 Proteins.- There are very few studies that identify a role of proteins (animal) in the risk of breast, kidney, throat, or colonic cancer due to the consumption of meat. The effect of favoring carcinogenesis would be measured by an alteration of the IGF (insulin as a growth factor, a powerful carcinogenic factor produced by the organism) axis.

Versione italiana